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Best Star Alliance Frequent Flyer program to join, and Status Match

6 Discussions

msport2012

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

Member since 14 Apr 2013

Total posts 295

Hi All, I am currently a QF P1 & CL Member as well as VA Plat & Club Member.
I have a couple of international Star Alliance flights coming up, mainly with UA & SQ. I am fine with crediting my SQ flights to Velocity however, with the recent devaluation between SQ & VA I would like to have a separate & dedicated Star Alliance Frequent Flyer Account.
Which one is the best to open & request a status match to? I have been considering UA Mileage Plus however I am open to suggestions.

jch

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 15 Nov 2017

Total posts 142

Usually *A status matches require travelling on the airline's own metal to complete the challenge. If you can wait until completing the UA status challenge until after 1 July (you will have three months to do ~18k miles for Premier Platinum) you will get *A Gold for 19 months until Jan 2021. Also, I was upgraded 4/6 sectors while I doing the challenge so may be beneficial if you have some economy legs on your upcoming trips. You will also get access to Economy Plus on international flights. Premier Platinum can also be matched to Marriot Gold.

In terms of maintaining *A Gold, Asiana and Turkish have two year qualifying periods and the lowest milage requirements 30k/37.5 respectively. I'll be switching over to Asiana once my UA status match expires next Jan, but looks like I can still utilise the Regional Premier Upgrade and Economy plus seating for any bookings made before it expires.
Last editedby ChrisCh at Mar 11, 2019, 10:19 AM.

ChrisCh

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,026

The thing to note with Asiana is that miles aren't always earned at the same rate as other programs, so although the number sounds lower, it's not necessarily a great deal easier to earn/retain (although the two-year window helps with that).

jch

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 15 Nov 2017

Total posts 142

True you have to be very careful with economy bookings, however business is generally a flat 125%. You can take a look on their website for their earn rates with each *A carrier then make a decision if its worth it for your travel patterns.
Last editedby jch at Mar 11, 2019, 12:12 PM.

ChrisCh

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,026

True you have to be very careful with economy bookings, however business is generally a flat 125%. You can take a look on their website for their earn rates with each *A carrier then make a decision if its worth it for your travel patterns.
Last edited by jch at Mar 11, 2019, 12.12 PM.

It's worth looking into those details for business class too, as some frequent flyer programs have earn rates of up to 200% on business class fares (for both award miles and status miles), so although the number of status miles needed for Star Alliance Gold may be 'higher' in the programs with those types of earning rates, the number of flights it can take to reach that target can be less than using a program that provides 125% on the same fares, even with a lower target figure, if that makes sense.

To compare things evenly, the way I assess which program to use if I'm aiming for status is "well, that flight gets me x% of the way to Star Alliance Gold in this program, and y% of the way to Star Alliance Gold in that program" (simply divide how many award miles are earned by the number required for the status you're seeking: so if a flight provides 5,000 award miles and Star Alliance Gold requires 50,000 award miles in a particular program, 5k/50k = 0.1, or 10% of the way there).

jch

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 15 Nov 2017

Total posts 142

Thanks Chris that's a good way to think about it.

Edit: I just did a quick analysis on my travel planned over the next year and Asiana comes less than 1,000 points in front of Turkish, probably since I booked with their fare classes in mind. The deciding reason why I'm choosing them is the potential to get *A lifetime gold. No doubt they will change the goal posts in the 20+ years it might take me to get there, but at least can aim to retire with something more than a gold OPAL bus card :)
Last editedby jch at Mar 11, 2019, 04:32 PM.

Ourmanin

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 08 Jun 2018

Total posts 97

Wouldn’t claim to be an expert on all *A schemes as for me SQ is the only one that makes practical sense. The only thing I’d add is to what extent you may value things such as the PPS Club. Depends entirely on which routes you may fly, etc. but it offers some advantages if you are a frequent flyer at the pointy end and use SQ regularly.

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